Medium-voltage multilevel converters State of the art, challenges, and requirements in Industrial applications

Haitham Abu-Rub, Joachim Holtz, Jose Rodriguez, Ge Baoming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

731 Citations (Scopus)


This paper gives an overview of medium-voltage (MV) multilevel converters with a focus on achieving minimum harmonic distortion and high efficiency at low switching frequency operation. Increasing the power rating by minimizing switching frequency while still maintaining reasonable power quality is an important requirement and a persistent challenge for the industry. Existing solutions are discussed and analyzed based on their topologies, limitations, and control techniques. As a preferred option for future research and application, an inverter configuration based on three-level building blocks to generate five-level voltage waveforms is suggested. This paper shows that such an inverter may be operated at a very low switching frequency to achieve minimum on-state and dynamic device losses for highly efficient MV drive applications while maintaining low harmonic distortion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5446354
Pages (from-to)2581-2596
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010



  • Dual multilevel inverter (MLI)
  • low switching frequency
  • medium-voltage drives
  • multilevel inverters
  • neutral-point-clamped inverter
  • synchronous optimal PWM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this